One hundred of the largest farms in California have been sent this letter dated September 27, 2013.
According to the letter, the UFW intends to file Notices of Intent to Take Access with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to take access on October 3, 4 and 5, 2013. The alleged purpose of the access will be to advise workers of the bipartisan federal legislation to reform national immigration policy. The alleged purpose of the access will be to advise workers of the pending immigration reform legislation in Washington and to mobilize workers to join a national “Day of Dignity and Respect” according to a second flyer received from the UFCW Local 5 out of Salinas. There will be mobilizations in over 90 cities and workers are requested to attend one of the over 100 events being planned across the state and nationally.
Should the Union serve your company with a Notice of Intent to Take Access, please note that the Union will not be allowed to take access until such time that you receive notification from the Regional Director of the ALRB that the Access Petition has been filed.
Secondly, once properly filed, the UFW may take access to your agricultural operations three times daily: One hour in the morning before the start of work; one hour, which shall encompass the meal period; and one hour after the end of work. Two organizers per crew up to 30 workers may take access; and one additional organizer for every 15 additional workers. Organizers must wear a badge identifying themselves by name and name of the union; and must identify themselves upon request.
While on the premises, please have your supervisory employees vacate the immediate area where organizers may be talking to workers or distributing literature. Supervisors should be out of eyeshot and earshot –a safe distance is at least 100 yards. Additionally, please inform your supervisors not to interrogate workers about what the UFW has said or gave to them when the Union organizers leave. This would constitute an unfair labor practice.
If you use farm labor contractors, their employees will be deemed your employees for purposes of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act. Therefore, please contact your labor contractor concerning access by Union organizers before they begin access. Be sure that the same rules that apply for your supervisory employees also apply for those of the farm labor contractor.
If you have on-farm rules (e.g., signing in at a gate before accessing the ranch, food safety, speed limits) it is appropriate to consistently enforce these rules with union representatives. Finally, workers should be advised that they are not required to sign union authorization cards nor are they required to provide their home addresses and telephone numbers if they are requested by UFW organizers as part of this process.
WG members are advised to inform their workers that through various local, state and national agricultural organizations, your companies, individually and through the Association, have been actively involved in securing immigration reform, including obtaining legalization for current agricultural workers. The U.S. agricultural industry has partnered with the UFW for this express purpose. CLICK HERE if you wish to understand the requirements of the ALRB’s access regulation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact WG’S Vice President and General Counsel, Jason Resnick. Special thanks to Rob Roy, who authored the original article from which this piece was adapted with permission of VCAA.
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